Big First Half Leads Women’s Soccer Past Montana, 5-0

Big First Half Leads Women’s Soccer Past Montana, 5-0

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona had nine different players record points on five first half goals, including a pair of goals from senior Brandy Carr and the first-career goals for freshmen Alana D'Onofrio and Dana Williams, as the Lumberjacks cruised to a 5-0 win over Montana on a frigid afternoon in Lumberjack Stadium. NAU remained the only undefeated team in Big Sky play and extended its school-record unbeaten streak to nine straight games, improving to 9-3-3 overall and 4-0-1 in conference, while Montana dropped to 2-12-2 and 1-4-0 in the Big Sky.

"One thing that we've talked about is having a lot of different players step up and score goals for us, and that happened today," said head coach Andre Luciano. "Our bench did a great job in the second half coming in and relieving most of our starters. This was really a good team win."

The Lumberjacks came out hot despite low-40's, windy, and rainy conditions. NAU got on the board first after a failed clearance by the Montana defense in the 12th minute, as D'Onofrio bounced a shot on goal from 35 yards out. The try was initially stopped by Montana freshman goalkeeper Kendra McMillen, but the ball would roll out of her hands and over the goal line to put the Lumberjacks ahead.

Less than seven minutes later, NAU would strike again. A corner kick from senior Brenna Boies found junior Chelsea Bednarz for a header in front of the Montana goal and past McMillen, extending Boies' NAU career assist record to 21 and giving the Lumberjacks a 2-0 lead.

Just over eight minutes would pass until the Lumberjacks would score again, as junior Jenna Samora had an open look in front of the goal stopped by McMillen and the rebound found Carr, who had entered the game only 38 seconds earlier, with an empty net in front of her to push the lead to 3-0.

Carr would strike again in the 40th minute, as a cross from junior Carolyn Savage found the Lumberjack senior for a shot into the top left corner of the Grizzly goal and a fourth tally for the home team.

A fifth first-half goal would come just over two minutes later off a corner kick from senior Corie McGuire. The feed was knocked down in front of the Grizzly goal by Lumberjack freshman Shawnee Morhan to Williams, who would finish with her first-career goal and end a wild first half with NAU comfortably ahead.

With the game well in hand to start the second half, both teams focused on a heavy rotation of substitutions in the final 45 minutes. Only one shot was placed on goal in the second half, with Lumberjack junior netminder Tori Rocke making her only save of the game to extend her school record to 18 career shutouts and give NAU a 5-0 win.

The Lumberjacks out-shot Montana 16-4 for the contest after a 10-1 shot advantage for the home team in the first half. 11 different Lumberjacks attempted a shot in the game, with McMillen recording three saves for the Grizzlies. D'Onofrio, Morgan and Williams each record their first-career points in the match.

Northern Arizona plays its final road game of the regular season at Eastern Washington (2-12-1, 2-3-0 BSC) on Sunday at 11 a.m. Depending on other Big Sky results on Sunday, the Lumberjacks could clinch their first-ever Big Sky regular season title with a win against the Eagles.

DID YOU KNOW...Based on AHRRC information NAU athletics has a significant impact on the Flagstaff economy. Lumberjack student athletes add $8.7 million to the Northern Arizona economy and visiting teams contributed $650,000 to the hotel and restaurant economy of Flagstaff.